2016 · life · LuLu · nightshift · toddler · trent · wife life

Wife Life; Surviving night shift life with a toddler in Summer.

Hello dear friends!
How has your week been?
Our week has been quiet but busy… Trent has been on night shift this week, so our days are normally very quiet because he needs to rest. But after he leaves to work LuLu and I have been having some very busy afternoons.
So let’s talk about shift work, it is very common today – almost all my friends have had some experience with it. Either they do or have done it, their parents did or their partners work shift work. Thankfully the shifts my husband works are family friendly hours. He gets home at good & reasonable hours and also has a good amount of days off. We are very fortunate, but the days he works are still hard on our little girl who loves her Daddy very much and always wants to be close to him.
The way we deal with – “survive” the nightshift side of shift work at this season of our life is just to keep busy. LuLu misses her Daddy a lot when he is working, doesn’t matter if it’s day or night shift or even if he has just popped out to the store to grab milk, she misses him anytime he isn’t with her – so to help with that I try to keep our time together busy and with lots to do. 
Now Trent doesn’t do FIFO or live away from us, he comes home at the end of every shift and I am very thankful for that – so I am not an expert on dealing with extended time away from my husband and LuLu away from her Daddy, but I thought the way we run our life may encourage or inspire one of you, especially if you are in a similar stage of life & situation to us.
Trent leaves for his nightshift in the early afternoon and he returns home just after midnight – so that gives him a good chunk of time to sleep when he first gets home and he has a few extra hours in the morning after LuLu and I wake up, then he is awake and spends some time with LuLu – this week they have been in the pool every day. It’s been very hot here so the nice cool pool has been a real treat! 

Our little fish loves diving in the pool for her toys.

While they swim, I either pop out and do groceries, tidy up around the house, do laundry, catch up on my jobs, sometimes join them for a swim and then I make lunch. We have a big lunch when Trent is on nights and he takes leftovers for his dinner. 
LuLu has a nap after lunch and Trent sometimes does too and then he leaves for work… When LuLu wakes up we have afternoon tea (bowl of fruit) and she watches a small amount of TV.
After 3/3:30pm LuLu and I head outside. While Trent is on nightshift I use our afternoons to try and get lots of jobs done outside, especially when the weather is so nice & warm and the days are a bit longer.
I really enjoy getting a lot of jobs done in my day, it makes me feel good & satisfied knowing I did something today and chipped away at my always growing “to-do list”. I also feel I am helping Trent out a lot by taking away some of the jobs that he often does. He is off working hard, so if I can mow the lawn to save him doing it on his days off – that makes me happy & that time on his days off can be better spent as family time or he can relax after working hard. I know I don’t “need to do” these jobs, Trent would easily do them – but I like being helpful to him and that is also part of the calling of being a wife. (Genesis 2:18) 
LuLu loves outside time, so she thinks it is the best thing when we put on our sunscreen, hat & shoes and get ready to head outside.
This week we have so far; bathed the dogs, hosed the gardens & lawns everyday, pulled weeds out of the garden, washed the car, mowed the lawns, washed out the garbage bins – you know basic tidying up around the outside of the home and we also baked some cookies & painted our nails as a treat and the other afternoon my parents visited. So our afternoons have been jam packed & full of jobs but also fun. 

Pats for the freshly bathed doggies.

I always make sure that I when do a job I either try to include LuLu as much as possible or straight after I am finished we do something fun so LuLu feels involved and it is also enjoyable for her.
LuLu is now at the age where she can wander around the yard & play or follow and help me – she just loves being outside. Some jobs like washing out the bins, she obviously doesn’t help with – but I make sure she has something to do – like have a bike to ride while I quickly get the job done. I always make sure I can watch her as I work. With washing the car, mowing the lawn, watering the plants, baking – these are jobs LuLu loves to help me with. She washes her Little Tikes pink truck & bike, she has her little mower, her own watering can and loves to help hose and she’s a great little helper in the kitchen.

Our 2 little “big rigs” all washed.
Helping me out by hosing the plants.

While I mow the lawns LuLu has a ton of fun toys to play with outside, she has a trampoline, cubby, little climbing toy and I also set up her water table for her to play with. This week we have also been setting up the sprinkler with our tank water, LuLu has been having a ball running through it in the afternoon.

Water table fun… If LuLu is getting bored with the toys that come with the table, I just bring out some toys from inside. This Kewpie doll was mine when I was younger, and its the perfect dolly for her to bath.
Running through the sprinkler.
Bouncing on the bounce with Ninna… Grandparents, friends & family make great distractions too for little kids when a parent is off working…

One afternoon I got the hose out while we were playing on the trampoline – “The bouncy bouncy” – our wild & fearless little girl thought it was the best thing in the world. In no time at all she had worked out how to run & slide with her feet and she was having a ball! 

We often are outside until about 6pm’ish – then we go inside dirty & exhausted from our big afternoon of playing and doing some jobs. Our night routine is to have showers, eat dinner – which is often leftovers from lunch, tidy up and then read books while LuLu drinks her milk, clean our teeth and get ready for bed. 
Once LuLu is asleep I finish tidying up the house for the night, put the dishwasher on and then I either read, check my social media, text friends or watch a movie (often I am doing more than one of these at once – LOL) 
But that is how I survive night shift with a toddler in Summer. Every season of life and the year is different and brings new challenges – but I think at this stage of our life when LuLu is an active, outdoor loving little toddler and the weather is so nice & warm – having a busy afternoon is the best, for us. Your idea of a busy afternoon maybe visiting friends or family, doing crafts, heading out to do some shopping or heading to a local park or library. You have to make your time with your child, your own. I really like showing my daughter that it is great to get outside, help out, be active, enjoy nature, take care of our home, have fun & it’s ok to get a bit dirty & messy when we are working. I also like having LuLu help when it’s appropriate for her to help, I believe it is creating a good foundation for her to grow up knowing that it is important to help others & help with jobs around the house. (She is very good with her little jobs, if you would like a post on that let me know!)
The other thing I want to note here, is when we are outside in the afternoon my phone is inside. The photos included in this blog post are taken quickly on my little point & shoot underwater camera, mainly at the end of the afternoon… I try to make a conscious effort every day, especially when it is just the 2 of us to spend time with LuLu with no phone. I use the time after she is asleep to check & update my social media. I really do encourage you to try the same, even just 1 hour – leave the phone on charge. 
Our afternoons together have been really beautiful & wonderful this week. I especially love the time when we are just holding hands walking around hosing the plants and the grass, we have little chats, water fights, we laugh – it is just lovely. I love motherhood I really do and it’s moments like that I will treasure forever. 
I know night shift/shift work can be stressful and overwhelming at times & it is hard on children when they miss their Dad/Mum, but I hope this posts encourages you. Even if you don’t have to worry about shift work, I hope this post motivates you to at least just go outside this afternoon – set up the sprinkler and run through it! It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s always fun!

Get outside and dance under the sprinkler, do it! I highly recommend doing it at sunset, even quickly set a timer on your camera and take a quick photo to remember the fun.

But in all seriousness, I truly hope this post helps someone. Last year our season of life was different, LuLu was younger and I couldn’t get as much done – but now she’s older and wants to help & would be outside every second of the day if I let her. So you have to do what you can at your season of life, but my biggest suggestion & tip for you if your partner does shift work – especially nights – is to stay busy. It can get lonely and boring and the hours can drag on if you let it – but I really find staying busy or having plans makes it so, so much easier. Make a plan, say “this afternoon, I am going to hose the garden” or mow the lawn, paint a picture, have a play date, do a messy craft outside, bake a treat, call my friend or watch a movie after the kids are asleep etc. 
I think getting outside with kids & having water play instantly makes them happier, so if you can do that – do it, especially if they are cranky! Also make life easier on yourself, make enough food at lunch so you can eat leftovers for dinner, it’s easier to have leftovers than cook a whole new meal. 
I find having lots to do makes the time go faster and it makes the whole experience a lot easier on our daughter and also myself. We have night shift weeks that aren’t so busy, fun & successful and I often find they drag on and aren’t enjoyable and then I find myself getting down. But the days we plan to do something or even just get outside and play or do a small job, makes it a lot more enjoyable and pleasant. Having a very busy & active afternoon also makes us both tired and helps us sleep – so that is also a bonus. (I don’t know about you but I don’t sleep that great without my husband!)
Does your partner do shift work? How do you handle it? Do you have any tips? I would love to hear them, leave me a comment below or on my social media! Please also let me know if you would like to hear our week works when my husband is on day shift.
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Have a lovely afternoon, we are on our final night shift for this run, so I am off to wash down the outside windows & my brother is coming to visit and take LuLu swimming.
Enjoy your weekend…

2016 · LuLu · resolutions · toowoomba · trent

Sunflowers, us, resolutions & realisations.

My first post of 2016…
I thought I would share some happy & sunny photos of the 3 of us and just have a chat…
Yesterday we were up early and headed out to a small town about an hour away from us, we were chasing sunflower fields… We found a field and pulled up for a quick family photo shoot, it was just us and the camera & tripod.

Sunflowers just make me happy, they are so bright and lovely to look at…
I really love how these photos turned out, we got some really cute ones. 

Now let’s chat about the New Year….
I’ve headed into this year with the mindset of calm, simple & slow. That’s how I want our life to mainly be, sure there are times in life when it’s busy chaos – but I don’t want my whole life to be like that – sometimes the madness, good & bad can’t be avoided. But I want to have a life in which I can savour moments, a life where I am not stressed constantly & a life that is good for me & my family. 
So with that in mind, that is what has inspired this years resolutions… Not that my resolutions are anything crazy, new or out of the normal, they are pretty standard and the things I aim for and pray about daily… 

  • Mother to the best of my ability and with all my strength & heart.
  • Be the best wife I can.  
  • Live a slower & simpler life.
  • Buy less, choose well.
  • Be content, calm & stress less.
  • Be an encourager.
  • Become wiser.
  • Continue to be strong in my faith & live a life that leads others to God.
  • Live my best life.

Now of course I have a few little personal goals…

  • Go on a small family trip this year… At least one.
  • Hunt another deer. 
  • Start our veggie garden.
  • Make more from scratch.
  • Declutter & organise my home.
  • Sew a quilt – well, just sew something more complex than bunting or a cushion.  

2015 was a year a few things made me see life & just situations differently. So these are a few realisations I am bringing to 2016.

  • We cannot control life, God has a greater plan for us and every aspect of our life. We can either fight that and become discouraged & down or we can just trust in the Lord and know that we will eventually see his plan and he will provide for us what we truly need. Sometimes our idea of what we need and want isn’t right and even though at the time we are sad things didn’t work out, we eventually understand why it didn’t.
  • Pain will happen, pain doesn’t necessarily go away – you just learn to deal with it. And pain and hurt is ok, it happens to everyone on some varying degree, we are all carrying around pain & sadness – that’s why it is sometimes good to be kind to everyone – we have no idea what anyone else is dealing with.
  • I’ve also realised we do not own anyone, their feelings or circumstances. Friends or family – they are their own people and will do what they do. We can offer words of advice or explain why their behaviour is perhaps causing us pain but we cannot make them do, say or act how we want or how we would. But sometimes people are just hurtful, selfish & not healthy to be around and it is ok to let people go – especially friends. Some friends/people are for seasons in our life and there to only teach us lessons and others are there for our whole life. 
  • Life is to be enjoyed, my idea of enjoying life maybe the total opposite to other peoples and that is ok. My life is mine and I am here to live my best life.
  • Being happy is a choice. Being sad is a choice. Sometimes it is ok to be sad, but don’t dwell in it. Be sad, experience it and then pick yourself up and choose happiness. If you find yourself struggling to be happy or feel good, stand up and look around. Everything in our lives is a reason to be happy & grateful. Having a grateful heart makes a happy mind. Reading this blog, this means you own a piece of technology & have an internet connection, the tap you turn on for a glass of clean water, you are alive and most likely in fairly good health – each of those things as basic as they are are reasons to be grateful & happy. How you see your life effects your attitude and feelings.
What are your resolutions? Did 2015 make you have any big life realisations? I would love to hear!
Leave me a comment below or on my social media…

housewife to huntress · shooting & hunting · trent

Our perfect anniversary date. {shooting & eating!}

Last week Trent & I celebrated 126, 230, 400 seconds of married life! 
On that particular day he was working night shift so we weren’t able to do anything to mark our special day.
We had planned to go out for a nice dinner together on Saturday evening. My parents had agreed to baby-sit LuLu for us. 
But on Saturday morning while I was chatting to Mum on the phone she mentioned she wanted to look after LuLu for the whole entire day & also that evening. I had to think about it for awhile. Sure I’ve spent a few hours away from LuLu, but normally when I’m spending time away from her Trent has her or if Mum does it is just for a couple of hours while I do some shopping, I don’t make a habit of not being with her, so this was a fairly big moment for me. Also because LuLu would be going for a drive to another town with my parents, I was a bit anxious about the whole idea of it. But I figured it would be good for LuLu to spend a few hours away from me & she was with her Ninny & Poppa, the only 2 people that I really feel comfortable leaving her with, so I knew she would be fine. After over packing 2 bags of supplies, a lunch bag & a bucket of toys for her we dropped her off at my parents. 

All packed and ready for a day with Ninny & Poppa.

Yes, I cried leaving her. I don’t know why – perhaps guilt, but I think it was more because I instantly missed her. When LuLu isn’t with me I feel like I am missing something vital, like heart or a lung. I just no longer feel complete. I sat in the car contemplating if I should run back inside and say I changed my mind, but I knew she would be perfectly fine and I would be too – I trust my parents 110% with her. 
So what were Trent and I going to do with this new found day of freedom? 
Well, we decided to do what we do – go shooting. We could’ve done yard work, but hey – we wanted to just enjoy this rare day of “just us”.  
Now we didn’t have enough time to organise a hunting trip, so have no fear – this is not a post with “dead animals”. We headed out to a property owned by one of Trent’s work mates & set up some targets. We were just wasting time, having fun & also making sure our guns were shooting straight. 
We took 3 of our guns out. Our air rifle, Trent’s Tikka T3 .270 & my brand new Browning .22 rifle. 

Gamo Delta Max .177, Browning T-Bolt .22LR & Tikka T3 .270. All guns purchased at ‘The Open Range’ 
A couple who shoots together, stays together!

This was my first time bringing my gun out to shoot targets. I had shot it previously on some bunnies with my brothers, but this was my first time shooting with Trent. 
We set the target up at about 100m and I managed to get some fairly decent groupings. When I shoot at ‘The Open Range’ in their indoor shooting range, I shoot at 25m. I can manage to get a pretty great & tight grouping at that distance (about a $2 coin grouping) at 100m I was getting about a 50c coin grouping or a touch wider. Which isn’t bad, it isn’t brilliant but it was my first time doing targets with that gun & the longest distance I’ve ever shot and I had to factor in it was a windy day.

What a fun way to waste a few hours! 

A quick word about my beautiful rifle, as I said it is the Browning T-Bolt .22LR – I was going to purchase the .22 mag, but after some consideration I decided to go with the .22 LR. It is more economical to shoot and it will also be a great gun for LuLu when she grows up. If she wants to learn to shoot, this gun would be perfect for her after learning on the air rifle (she has a fair few years to wait though!). It is a stunning rifle and amazing quality – I made sure to purchase a gun that I know will last. I knew I wanted a timber stock as that is the finish I prefer.
This gun is also a perfect size for me, I held so many rifles & none felt comfortable or they were too heavy as I am fairly petite – but this one is perfect for me. 
I love the straight pull T-Bolt action, it’s a smooth & fast motion, which is great for quickly chambering a round for that follow up shot, if needed. The double helix rotary 10 shot magazine is incredibly easy to load, it feeds the rounds level into the chamber which also makes the round feed in smoothly. 
The scope I chose for my gun is the Meopta MeoPro 3-9×42. Trent & I are both very happy with the scope, the vision is clear & crisp.  

Browning .22 
The detailing on my gun is so pretty! 😉

After spending a few hours shooting our rifles we packed up and started the 50 minute trip home. 

4 years of being his Mrs. Bring on many, many more!! 🙂 

Trent called into a local pub at Quinalow to grab some Jack Daniels as he wanted to drink one before we left for dinner that night while I was getting ready. I took the opportunity to have a cold drink while we drove home & I couldn’t help but laugh at the stubby cooler he purchased while getting the Jacks!! 

This made me laugh… 

When we got home we got ready for dinner and then my parents arrived with our darling girl, we had missed her so much! She had had a great day & seemed very happy! We made dinner for my parents and LuLu and said good bye to them and drove to town for our anniversary dinner. 

A quick photo while out on our date! 

We got an early booking at La Pizziaola & enjoyed a nice dinner of yummy Italian food. After dinner we walked down to the gelato store and had dessert. 
We had a lovely evening out together, but all we wanted to do was get home to our LuLu Bug, so we went straight home!
A day off from parenting was a nice treat & I am grateful to my parents for being so amazing with LuLu & happy to have her for the day, but I love my time with her & those days off don’t have to be very often, it was lovely to just have some time with just Trent though to celebrate 4 beautiful years of marriage!

If you want to stay up to date with my hunting & shooting adventures please make sure you follow my instagram account dedicated to that; @housewifetohuntress. 
My camo cap was supplied by Aussie Feral Game Hunters, you can find them on Facebook by clicking HERE. 
Have a great week! 

marriage · trent · wedding

126,230,400 seconds. {4th Anniversary}

“Because of you, I can feel myself slowly but surely becoming the me I have always dreamed of being.”  – Tyler Knott Gregson.
  • 126,230,400 seconds.
  • 2,103,840 minutes.
  • 35,064 hours.
  • 1461 days.
  • 208 weeks and 5 days.
  • 4 years.
Our wedding day.
Happy anniversary to my wonderful husband, who is my best friend & the love of my life. 
I am so incredibly thankful for the fortunate life we have. It has been a beautiful 4 years but admittedly we have had a few challenges but that just makes us stronger as a couple. Everyone faces challenges, but only the strong stay together. 
Our theory on a good marriage is to be each others best friend, be supportive, be open & be good forgivers – this works for us & ensures we overcome whatever life throws our way. 
They say marriage is a journey, well I think ours is much more like an adventure. We are always planning our next path & sometimes we have to forge our own. We married each other 4 years ago with big dreams, most of them have come true – but we are still dreaming, still planning and always thinking ahead. But that is not to say we aren’t enjoying the now, we love to take time to soak in & celebrate the wonderful that our life is at the moment, to cherish the small things. 
Our adventure isn’t perfect, but it’s ours… And I will stick with you until the end. 
I am fortunate to have Trent & I am grateful to God every day for our relationship & marriage. We together are so thankful for being blessed with the light of our lives, LuLu. Becoming parents has made us stronger, closer & a better team. I wouldn’t want to go on this adventure of parenthood with anyone else. 
Thank you Trent for being such a wonderful and supportive husband for me & the worlds best Dad to our LuLu! And for making my dream of becoming a Mumma true. 
You will forever, be my always.
Our family, my whole world. 
4 years, wow. I’m praying for many, many more happy years & looking forward to growing old with my amazing T-Rex. 
I’m off to enjoy my anniversary with my husband!
Have a lovely day!

As a wife, I choose to honor my husband. Not because I am weak, but because I am strong. 
date · housewife to huntress · shooting & hunting · trent

Our perfect date. {First time shooting handguns – March 2015}

A day spent wasting bullets is never a wasted day!

Hello!
The other day Trent and I went on a bit of a spontaneous date! 
We dropped LuLu at my Mum’s house for a few hours so she could have some time with Ninny & we could have some time together. Initially we just had planned to go to lunch at The Cube. 

Entree & dessert. 

But after lunch we decided to head to our favourite gun store; The Open Range to look at some options for a ‘first gun’ for me. I am very keen to get a gun and I am on the look out for the “perfect one”. 
Well, after looking at some awesome guns and talking to the always helpful staff, we decided it would be fun to try out a few handguns in the shooting range. 
So we were all set to go and argh!! We realised we didn’t have closed in shoes on – so we rushed to good ol’ Target and picked up some shoes and raced on back. 
This was our first time ever shooting handguns, Trent owns a really beautiful & big hunting rifle & is a very good hunter, I’ve shot my Dad’s smaller rifles before, but never anything serious – just pointless shooting trees at the farm, so I’ve never done a lot of shooting. But that isn’t by choice, I am so keen to go hunting! One day, one day I’ll get to go! I also really want to learn how to shoot clay targets – I think that would be a very fun hobby. 
So anyway, this was our first time with handguns – Dave (from The Open Range) went through how to use the guns with us and then it was my turn! 
The first gun I got to try out was a 9mm handgun (the same gun the police use), it was a bit nerve wracking pulling the trigger the first time only because I had no idea how it would feel/kick back etc. But it was fine, that gun was really easy to shoot & handle. 

9mm handgun. 

Secondly was a .357 revolver – using a revolver made me feel like I was in the wild west about to have a duel! 

.357 revolver 

Then Trent tried a .44 magnum revolver and I also had a few shots with that gun, I really liked that one and it did ‘”kick back” a lot, but not once did I feel I was going to drop it or lose control of it. 

.44 magnum revolver. 

Trent finished off our session with a .44 magnum Desert Eagle, I didn’t use this gun because I felt it was a bit to heavy for me but Trent liked it, on his very last shot with it he got a bullseye! 

Trent shooting the Desert Eagle. 

Trent’s target looks a lot better and much more accurate than mine, but as I was reminded by Trent & also Dave – this was my first time shooting “at something” and also my first time with a handgun, so thinking of it that way I am very proud of my target and I think I did great! 

Trent’s target is on the left and mine is the right side. 

Shooting those guns was such a fun experience for us both, we both are really into guns & hunting so it was perfect for us and an awesome ending to our date! 
If you are stuck for a unique date idea or even a gift for your partner (or anyone), I think a trip to the shooting range would be fantastic! Even if shooting isn’t normally your thing, doing something to step out of your comfort zone is so great. It gives you such an adrenaline rush & you leave with such a buzz! I was so proud afterwards, I couldn’t wait to tell my Dad what I had done & he was impressed I shot a .44 magnum handgun, it was once the biggest handgun in the world – it isn’t anymore, but it’s still a pretty big gun and I managed to hit my target with it! 

If you live in Toowoomba – I highly suggest you head to The Open Range, it is a business owned by a couple of local guys and their new store is awesome! It is so spacious and really well laid out & they have a huge range of stock and the staff are always very helpful and knowledgable. I say they are my favourite ‘gun store’* in the area because last year when I was shopping around for Trent’s birthday present (his gun, well actually I was just buying the accessories for it, he got to go pick the gun) not one other store in town would help me, but these guys did. They didn’t make me feel stupid for not knowing exactly what I was looking for and they recommended really great products that Trent was very happy with. And they are always friendly to LuLu! She loves visiting The Open Range – they have some amazing trophies on the walls she loves to look at! 
So when I say they are my favourite store, I am not lying – they really are great!
I am hoping to go back and shoot a few more guns in the near future and hopefully I can convince one of my best friends to come with me!! 🙂 
(Also ladies, if you are worried about the gun hurting you or being to small or weak – I am just over 5ft & weigh just over 40kg – if I can do it – you can do it!!)

Below is a short video of Trent & I shooting the guns. 

  I hope you all enjoyed this post and it inspired you to go out and try something different! This truly was an ideal date for Trent and I, good food & guns! 
What is your idea of a perfect date?

Our souvenirs from our date!

*This is NOT a sponsored post – all opinions are my own & I am not being paid in anyway for this post.